Pubdate: Wed, 10 May 2000
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2000 The Sun-Times Co.
Contact:  401 N. Wabash, Chicago IL 60611
Author: Stephen Young


Eric Sterling [column, April 30] is correct about the perversity of drug
sentencing laws, but sentencing is just one of the drug war's many
perversities. If top military leaders such as Col. James Hiett, who are
supposed to stop the flow of drugs into America, aren't immune from
drug-related corruption, who is?

Drug czar Barry McCaffrey tells us the phrase "drug war" is an inappropriate
metaphor for U.S. drug policy, even though his entire career was spent in
the military, and the Clinton administration wants to throw another
billion-plus dollars in military aid to Colombia.

Beyond the escalation of this war that can't be won, Al Gore now tells us
that the real solution to drug problems is to keep prisoners in jail until
they can pass a drug test. This acknowledges that drugs are in prisons. If
we can't keep drugs out of prisons, how are we ever going to keep them out
of our supposedly free society?

Gore and Hiett prove illegal drugs never will be eradicated, even if we use
all our military might while turning our own country into a huge jail.
Prohibition has done nothing but make illegal drugs more potent, profitable
and available. It's time to regulate currently illegal substances, just as
we regulate alcohol and tobacco, America's most deadly recreational drugs.

Stephen Young, Roselle
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